I’m sitting here mulling over all the media reports of the last three years, and it has not been pretty. From Trayvon Martin, to Mike Brown, Renisha McBride, Freddie Gray and as of recent, the killings of 9 church members in Charleston, SC, has given me reason to pause. Yet as we have seen in the media from CNN, FOX and MSNBC, there has been a full media onslaught of hapless blacks getting into some sort of confrontation with law enforcement on a national level. So, as I pour over all the online articles, I must reflect and ask: why so much coverage on instances on particular ethnic group, when crime happens in every community of every race?
Let’s do a little fact checking into this. 13 Percent of Americans are identified as black (or African-American) judging by the latest facts from the US Census Bureau. Not including homicide cases, because the range of case complexities,black offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008. Only 45 per cent of the offenders were white.
According to this study, disproportionately, blacks were more likely to commit homicide as to being victims.
Taking 2013 into account, the FBI has black criminals carrying out 38 per cent of murders, compared to 31.1 per cent for whites. The offender’s race was “unknown” in 29.1 per cent of cases.
I say the error in these numbers lie in the comparison of this being ‘black vs. white’ issue. Criminologists has long said that blacks that offend are more likely living in impoverished communities. That reasoning gives a distorted look on how the black community is somehow more tolerant of crime as opposed to other cultures.
Media outlets has continuously hammered away at the notion that in black culture, we have a propensity to commit crime based on a level of impoverishment. The examples in Baltimore and Furguson has given FOX and other conservatives in particular, ample ammunition to label minorities as poor and violent. Comparatively, sociologists have suffered the same problem; not finding poor white neighborhoods that can be fairly compared to poor black neighborhoods for an accurate study results.
Dylann Roof, the Charleston S.C. shooter that killed nine church members last week, admitted that the coverage on Trayvon Martin, inspired him to research on why ‘so many black people were killing whites’ in his own words. Was the general media at blame for fostering a climate in which a disillusioned 21 year old man used to prove his twisted reasoning for slaughtering innocents?
African-Americans has been served up as media fodder to the public from Ray Rice, to Bill Cosby, or any other high-profile black person all the way to the white House. Racism has blindly led people to base the judgements on what a correspondents script for the nightly news. It’s a ratings game people, plain and simple.
You may say, ‘Well the data speaks for its self, how can you deny the numbers? Can one deny that out of all the other ethnic groups nationally, that there is a disproportionate amount of coverage given to black people involving crime? Can one deny the ridiculous amount of time the media spent ‘race-baiting’ the public when a young white woman lied about her ethnicity to be black? How many hours did network producers spend in sensationalism, when there could have been better discourse with the public with reasoning, instead of ‘National Inquirer’ headlines? I heard one conservative pundit try to minimize the shootings in SC as not a hate crime, because all crimes are hate crimes. This type of reasoning dilutes the message of racially motivated crimes to just another everyday killing. Yet media outlets are still questioning experts about if this was a terroristic act, or just a hate crime. Aren’t all terrorist motivated by hate? They are one in the same. Yet we wait for the approval from the media to stand up and call things for what they should already be called, and then react accordingly to their (the media) benefit. We are nothing more than rating numbers for these outlets, not voices of true representation.
We must not allow the media outlets to dictate our discourse on race or anything else. The American public must take responsibility for its own voice, and not allow for the pundits to regulate our senses to mindless news entertainment. In my day, the news for entertainment: it was there to inform and educate.
Freedom – Rhythm Rave Radio 6/22/15